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Jewish Families of Wolsztyn (Poland)

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Wollstein Wolsztyn Poland NOT Wöllstein in Germany, Alzey-Worms district in Rhineland-Palatinate.

The purpose of this Geni Jewish Town Project for Wolsztyn in Poland formerly in the Grand Duchy of Posen is to identify and collect people who are connected to the Town. This collection can include those born or lived or died here as well as parents or relatives of residents with a strong connection to the town no matter how brief.

Wolsztyn Wollstein is situated about 70 kilometers to the south-west of Poznań (Posen). Very little is known about the history of the local Jewish community, since the fires, which repeatedly ravaged the town, destroyed most of the town’s documents. It is, however, assumed that the beginning of the Jewish settlement in Wolsztyn dates to the 17th century. The Jewish families which lived in the town at that time presumably remained under the direct protection of the nobility that ruled over Wolsztyn. The Jews of foreign descent were charged with a special fee, which they were supposed to pay in kind (in pepper and saffron). This payment provided them with a permission to sell their merchandise on the local market. In comparison with other Jewish communities, the community in Wolsztyn was relatively numerous. Around 1790 it consisted of 561 members, and at the beginning of the 19th century, in 1808, the number of Jewish people in Wolsztyn increased to 718 and the Jews made up about 42% of the town’s population. Many of the Jews earned their living as craftsmen; they bound books, produced buttons and haberdashery articles.

The number of the Jewish inhabitants of the town reached its peak in 1840. At that time, the community had 858 members. During the following years the Jews form Wolsztyn, just like other Jews in the area, started leaving the town. This situation is illustrated by a decrease in the number of the Jewish community members. In 1849, the community still had 749 members, but this number fell to 486 in 1871. Nevertheless, at that time Jews still made up a significant part of the town’s population; they constituted 17% of the town’s inhabitants. In 1887, in Wolsztyn lived 388 people of Jewish descent, and at the beginning of the 20th century, in 1905, this number decreased only slightly to 330. However, until the outbreak of World War I the number of Jews in the town fell by half. In 1913, in the town there lived 190 members of the Jewish community, but this number fell to only 64 people after the war, in 1921; Jews constituted only 1.5% of town’s population. In the 1930s the number of the Jewish inhabitants was so small that the Jewish community in Wolsztyn was officially disbanded. Shortly before the beginning of World War II, in 1939, in the town there lived 18 people of Jewish descent. They were all forcibly resettled to the territories of the General Government.

A forced labor camp for the Jewish people functioned in Wolsztyn at the turn of 1942 and 1943. After the camp was closed in 1943, all male prisoners were sent to the concentration camp in Auschwitz.

The Jewish community in Wolsztyn had its own synagogue, which was burnt during one of the town fires in 1810. It was replaced by a new synagogue, whose construction was finished between 1840 and 1842. For some time, the community of the town also had a Jewish primary school (Elementarschule).

Source: http://www.sztetl.org.pl/en/article/wolsztyn/5,history/

Some 138 people who were born in Wollstein perished in the Holocaust according to records at Yad Vashem.

Wolsztyn is about 14 miles from Babimost, another small town in the area west of Posen in the Prussian part of Poland at that time. Kargowa is also about 14 miles from these towns and the triangle of roads facilitated trade and interaction. Individuals traveled between these towns frequently to marry and to trade.

Rabbis born in Wollstein list from the Steinheim Institute:

1. Kristeller, Samuel, gest. 24. Nov. 1831 in Wolsztyn (Wollstein), Prov. Posen. [BHR1]

2. Munk, Sanwil Meyer, gest. 11. Jan. 1840 in Wolsztyn (Wollstein), Prov. Posen. [BHR1]

3. Selig, Samson, gest 11 April 1841 in Wolsztyn (Wollstein) Prov Posen [BHR1]

Additional data is available at the history site here if you register with a password and user name: http://www.sztetl.org.pl/en/article/wolsztyn/5,history/

In 2011 Michael Rozycki( ku77ba@wp.pl ) engaged in developing the history of the residents through JewishGen. He lives in Wollstein, Poland. His interest is in the history of the town's Jewish population in the 1800's.

Michael was able to look at the town records for this and other families. In a message dated September 12, 2011 from Wollstein he stated that Adolf Berwin from Bomst married Anna Greiffenhagen from Wollstein on June 6, 1885. Adolf was 31 years old and was a merchant or trader. His father was Mayer and he was a bookbinder in Bomst. Anna's father was Rafael who was a buyer-kaufmann.

Information and photographs of the Jewish cemetery in this town are here:

http://www.kirkuty.xip.pl/wolczynpl.htm

More data from the Vital Records of Poznan province are here:

http://poznan-project.psnc.pl/index.php?langen#prettyPhoto

WOLCZYN: Opolskie Print Email Alternate names: Wołczyn, Konstadt. 51°01' N 18°03' E, 152.4 miles WSW of Warszawa. Gmina Wołczyn is an urban-rural administrative district in Kluczbork powiat, Opole Voivodeship in SW Poland with its seat in the town of Wołczyn, 12 km (7 mi) west of Kluczbork and 40 km (25 mi) N of the regional capital Opole. The gmina 2006 total population was14,458 (6,139 in the town). Beside Wołczyn, Gmina Wołczyn contains the villages and settlements of Bruny, Brynica, Brzezinki, Duczów Mały, Duczów Wielki, Gierałcice, Komorzno, Krzywiczyny, Ligota Wołczyńska, Markotów Duży, Markotów Mały, Rożnów, Skałągi, Świniary Małe, Świniary Wielkie, Szklarnia Szymonkowska, Szum, Szymonków, Wąsice, Wierzbica Dolna, Wierzbica Górna and Wierzchy. Jews in Wołczynie settled after the 1812. In 1939, 80 Jews lived here.[July 2009]

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CEMETERY: (Byczyńska Street) NOTE: This is not a cemetery in Brzezinki. Established in 1833 two km from the town near the road to Byczyna, the last burial took place in 1913. During WWII, the Nazis vandalized the 0.2-hectare cemetery. 33 standing gravestones remain, the oldest gravestone (Jakob Josef Kafil) dates from 1833. Six gravestones of the Unger family, a gravestone of Samuel Dallman and a gravestone of Handol Zimmerman have Hebrew and German inscriptions. More matzevot may be buried. Landmark nr 228/89. The cemetery was cleaned and fenced in 2004 but has an open gate. Photos. [July 2009] US Commission No. POCE000534

Alternate German name: Konstadt. Town is at 51º118º3, 79 km from Wroclaw. The cemetery is located at ules Bezezinki. Present populaton is 5,000-25,000 with no Jews.

Town: Urzad Miasta i Gminy, ul. Dworcowa 1, Tel. 344. Regional: Wojewodski Konserwator Zabytkow, mg J, Prusiewicz, 45-082 Opole, ul. Piastowsla 14. The first Jewish settlement was after 1812 with 80 Jews before WW2. The Progressive/Reform Jewish cemetery was established in 1833 with last burial in 1913. No other community used the cemetery. Landmark: 228/89. The isolated rural flat land has no sign or marker. Access is open to all by turning directly off a public road. The cemetery has a continuous fence with non-locking gate. The size before WWII and still is 0.23 ha, with 100 to 200 gravestones, 20-100 in original location and 50-75% broken or tumbled. The cemetery has no special sections. The oldest gravestone reads Jakob Josef Kafil, 14 September 1833. The sandstone flat stones with carved relief and one double tombstone have Hebrew and German inscriptions. Some tombstones have traces of painting. There are no known mass graves or structures. Municipality owns site used only as a Jewish cemetery. Rarely, private visitors stop. Adjacent property is agricultural. There has been some vandalism. Local authorities cleared vegetation and re-erected some stones but no care now. Vegetation is a seasonal problem preventing access. Security, vegetation and vandalism are moderate threats. Weather erosion, pollution and incompatible nearby existing development are slight threats.

Marcin Wodzinski, ul. Jednosci Narodowej 187/13, Wroclaw, Tel. 21 6908 completed survey on March 14, 1992 after a March 4 visit without interview.

Details Parent Category: EASTERN EUROPE Source: International Jewish Cemetery Project. Link: https://iajgscemetery.org/eastern-europe/poland/wolczyn